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Jury trial of Illinois basketball player accused of raping woman at Lawrence bar set to begin Tuesday

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Jury trial of Illinois basketball player accused of raping woman at Lawrence bar set to begin Tuesday


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Attorneys selected 15 jurors on Monday to hear the case against an Illinois basketball player accused of raping an 18-year-old woman at a local bar in September.

Chicago native and Illini shooting guard Terrence Shannon Jr., 23, is facing a charge of rape for engaging in intercourse with a person who did not consent or who was overcome by force or fear, or, in the alternative, one count of aggravated sexual battery for touching a person over the age of 16 who did not consent under circumstances when the victim was overcome by force or fear.

Eight men and seven women, including two people of color, will decide the case against Shannon, who is Black. The woman who accused him is white. Twelve of the jurors will ultimately deliberate the case.

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According to court documents, the incident occurred just after midnight Sept. 9 in the Martini Room of the Jayhawk Cafe (aka the Hawk), 1340 Ohio St. The woman told police she had been “groped and raped” by a man she later identified as Shannon, according to an affidavit detailing her interview with Lawrence police Detective Josh Leitner.

The woman told police that she and a friend had gone to the bar after the KU-Illinois football game that took place the evening of Sept. 8. In her interview, the woman said she and a friend were in the Martini Room, a basement area that sometimes operates as a kind of VIP room for KU athletes.

The woman said she and her friend were leaving the Martini Room when a man she didn’t know beckoned her. The affidavit indicates that the woman and her friend made their way back through the crowd to the man, who reportedly immediately grabbed the woman’s buttocks to pull her closer to him. He then allegedly “nearly immediately placed his finger under her underwear and inserted it into her vagina.”

The woman said the penetration lasted from five to 10 seconds, and the entire incident took no more than 30 seconds. The woman said she was not restrained in any way but was dumbfounded and unable to pull away from the man because of the tightly packed room.

She said she didn’t confront the man at the time and left the bar with her friend shortly thereafter.

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The woman told police that Shannon was in the Martini Room with KU athletes whom she recognized. She said she identified Shannon through social media and an internet search. Court records state that phone records show the woman used her phone between 2:15 and 3:45 a.m. to search the KU football and basketball rosters, and then the Illinois basketball roster.

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After identifying Shannon on the Illini basketball roster, the woman told police she found an Instagram post showing a photo of Shannon at the KU football game on Sept. 8. He was identifiable because parts of his hair were dyed different colors, according to the woman.

The woman called the Lawrence Police Department to report the incident at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

Andrea Albright/Lawrence Times Terrence Edward Shannon Jr., walks out of the courtroom with attorney Tricia Bath during jury selection June 10, 2024.

On Friday, defense attorney Tricia Bath of Leawood-based Bath & Edmonds P.A. made a successful motion to include information during the trial about a third-party incident they assert has relevance in the case.

The defense is expected to discuss details surrounding allegations against former KU basketball player Arterio Morris, who was accused of raping a woman in his McCarthy Hall room late last summer. The Douglas County District Attorney’s office dropped those charges in April citing insufficient evidence. However, an investigation into that case revealed an accusation against Morris for allegedly sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman at The Hawk less than two weeks before the woman in Shannon’s case came forward.

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No charges were filed against Morris in connection with the alleged incident at The Hawk. He was released from KU’s basketball program after being charged in the case that was later dropped.  

Three KU basketball players are listed as potential witnesses in Shannon’s case. Senior center Hunter Dickinson, senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr., and sophomore guard Elmarko Jackson are listed among police, investigators, and health professionals that may be called to testify. Being listed as a witness does not necessarily mean that someone was an eyewitness to an incident, but rather that law enforcement believes they may have information related to an alleged crime.

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Shannon was arrested in December but remains out of custody after posting a $50,000 surety bond.

ESPN reported that Shannon missed six games before attorneys fought and won to have him reinstated to the Illini team in January. The team eventually played in the NCAA tournament. ESPN ranked Shannon among the top NBA prospects.

Douglas County Senior Assistant District Attorney Ricardo Leal and Assistant DA Samantha Foster took over the case on behalf of the prosecution within the past week because of scheduling issues with another trial. The defense team includes Bath and Chicago-based Mark Sutter of the Sutter Law Group.

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Before dismissing the jury for the day, Douglas County District Judge Amy Hanley admonished jurors to abstain from all forms of media, explaining that higher profile cases including those involving athletes may have further reaching interest than most.

Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

All arrestees and defendants in criminal cases should be presumed not guilty unless they are convicted.

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Andrea Albright (she/her), reporter, can be reached at aalbright (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

Resources for survivors

If you have experienced sexual violence or trauma, please seek the help that’s right for you. There are many options available, and you don’t have to file a police report if you don’t want to.

Get 24/7 help in Lawrence: The Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center
  • Call 785-843-8985 to reach an advocate, 24/7. (Consider saving that number in your phone in case you or someone you know ever needs it.)
  • After an assault: What are my options? Check this page for detailed information about
    • talking to an advocate,
    • going to the hospital,
    • making a police report,
    • and/or talking to a counselor or therapist.
  • On campus? Check this page for specific resources for the University of Kansas, Haskell Indian Nations University, Baker University, Ottawa University and more.
Resources on KU’s campus:
  • Contact the CARE (Campus Assistance, Resource, and Education) Coordinator: Students can make an appointment by email, care@ku.edu, or by calling 785-864-9255. It’s free, confidential and voluntary to talk with the CARE Coordinator. All genders welcome. Read more here.
  • Find more KU campus resources at this link. Specific information about sexual assault exams can be found here.
  • Direct message KU CARE Sisters on Instagram. You don’t need to be affiliated with Greek Life to reach out and/or receive assistance. (Note: CARE Sisters provide peer support and education, but this is not a 24/7 service like others listed here.)
Domestic violence situations: The Willow Domestic Violence Center
  • Reach the Willow for help 24/7 at 785-843-3333.
  • Find more resources on the Willow’s website at this link.
More resources
  • StrongHearts Native Helpline: Call 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) for 24/7 safe, confidential and anonymous domestic and sexual violence support for Native Americans and Alaska Natives that is culturally appropriate.
  • National hotline: Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), text “START” to 88788, and/or visit thehotline.org to chat and learn more, 24/7.

Latest Lawrence news:


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Lawrence High School’s enrollment is dangerously declining, putting it at a “low risk – but certainly a consideration” to be reclassified from a 6A school to a 5A school, the Lawrence school board president said Monday.


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Patrick Graham, currently principal of Santa Fe Trail High School, will soon join Lawrence Public Schools as assistant principal and athletic director at Lawrence High School.

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Staff members of the Douglas County District Court’s Legal Self-Help office will offer help for folks involved in civil legal issues once a week at the Lawrence Public Library.

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There are many species of echinacea currently blooming across the state. In the east, the taller pallida species pictured here predominates. All are valued for their medicinal properties.

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Illinois

Schools still rely on cops to ticket kids for minor violations. It's a practice that should stop.

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Schools still rely on cops to ticket kids for minor violations. It's a practice that should stop.


The Illinois legislative session wrapped up late last month without tackling the pervasive issue of school ticketing, a practice where schools refer students to police to be disciplined for school misbehavior.

As a civil rights attorney at the MacArthur Justice Center, I’ve traveled around the state to witness the impact of these tickets. One of the first ticketing hearings I saw was in Joliet, purportedly for “disorderly conduct”: A girl with stomach problems disobeyed a teacher’s instructions to leave the bathroom, resulting in a referral to the police, an obligation to attend a hearing on a school day and a $150 fine.

Her experience is not unique. Across Illinois, tickets of up to hundreds of dollars are issued for things like littering, swearing or hallway scuffles — behaviors that schools should address internally with evidence-based solutions like restorative practices.

The ticketing practice is a debilitating symptom of a larger problem: the transformation of our classrooms into carceral spaces. Over the past decades, schools and prisons have become more alike in law, policy, and staffing. Courts have granted prisons tremendous control over prisoners purportedly in the name of rehabilitation and safety — and they’ve extended that same power to schools.

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As incarcerated people lost the right to write each other love letters, students lost the right to discuss teen pregnancy in their news publications. As incarcerated people lost the right to be free of strip searches, students lost the right to demand probable cause before administrators dug through their purses. Supposedly, this is to let schools teach kids values and keep kids safe — but in practice, we know our education system is failing.

Policymakers have mirrored our judiciary in treating schools like carceral institutions, adopting adult surveillance measures and zero-tolerance rules. Scholars say it’s because of the superpredator myth that came about in the 1990s — the racially coded idea that we would see a wave of “elementary school youngsters who pack guns instead of lunches.” The rise of school shootings — perpetrated largely by white young men — only motivated school authorities to intensify their policies. And with inadequate resources to address the complex needs of students with disabilities or trauma, schools resort to pushing “problem” kids out to maintain order.

More cops, fewer social workers

There are serious consequences to these fear-driven shortcuts. As schools pour money into staffing law enforcement officers instead of medical providers and social workers, students can find themselves handcuffed in the halls, interrogated without counsel and ferreted toward a cell.

Research on the school-to-prison pipeline proves that police exposure makes young people vulnerable to future lock-ups. In Illinois, one of the most common ways kids get exposed to police is through ticketing. Investigators found that from 2019 to 2022, police were involved in student incidents about 17,800 times in 200 Illinois districts and in more than half of these incidents, they issued tickets.

Rockford Public Schools, a district serving nearly 30,000 students, is an expert at ticketing. During the past school year alone, they issued 590 police referrals as of March 24. Every Wednesday at 1 p.m., when kids should be in school, Rockford City Hall holds its hearings for municipal tickets. Though kids can be as young as 8, these hearings are not privacy-protected. There’s no right to an attorney. And if a kid doesn’t show up, the default fine is $750.

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I’ve also never seen a white student ticketed in Rockford. Data shows Black students are more than twice as likely as their white peers to receive a police referral, and Black students with disabilities are more than three times as likely. The disparity is so stark that the National Center for Youth Law and the MacArthur Justice Center have filed a civil rights complaint against Rockford, alleging violations of federal anti-discrimination law.

The same disparities have been playing out across the state. In spring 2022, the Illinois attorney general’s office launched an investigation into the alleged discriminatory ticketing practice in one of Illinois’ largest school districts. There have been no updates.

To be sure, the safety of our children and a shortage of resources are serious concerns. But over-policing students has turned our schools into punitive institutions that devastate our most vulnerable. We need to do better.

For years, advocates have been trying to pass a bill that will end the ticketing practice — and for yet another year, the state has been resistant. It’s long past time for the state to do the necessary work to reform discipline in schools.

Zoe Li is a Liman Public Interest Fellow and civil rights attorney at the MacArthur Justice Center, where she primarily focuses on policing in schools and police misconduct.

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The views and opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chicago Sun-Times or any of its affiliates.

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Illinois

Professional Golf is swinging through Central Illinois the next two weeks

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Professional Golf is swinging through Central Illinois the next two weeks


(25News Now) –

The Annika Tour arrived today in Central Illinois as the Redbird Championship at Weibring Golf Course begins tomorrow morning. The tour, which is for players who just graduated or recently graduated from college, is the primary way to making it onto the 2nd-level Epson Tour, which is the primary pipeline to making it onto the top-level LPGA Tour.

The Redbird Championship will last through Thursday, before next week’s OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois Golf Championship at Weaver Ridge and Metamora Fields Golf Courses. That tournament will also feature the Men’s All-Pro Tour, which is also the primary developmental pipeline for the Korn Ferry Tour and then the PGA Tour.

You can watch 25News – any newscast, anywhere – streaming LIVE on 25NewsNow.com, our 25News mobile app, and on our WEEK 25News SmartTV streaming app. Learn more about how you can get connected to 25News streaming live news here.

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Illinois

IDOA shares proposed reimagining of Illinois State Fairgrounds

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IDOA shares proposed reimagining of Illinois State Fairgrounds


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — A newly-unveiled master plan for the Illinois State Fairgrounds showcases some proposed upgrades to its events, attendance, and revenue generation.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln announced the plans on Monday. If approved, the Fairgrounds will build an onsite hotel, expand sales and marketing staff, and create a “Town Square” south of the Midway to enhance curb appeal and help guests better navigate the grounds.

“The Illinois State Fairgrounds draw hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around the world,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said. “When combined with the $58.1 million we invested in repairs and improvements, this master plan not only creates a future-focused blueprint for continued growth and success, but it also ensures that the Illinois State Fairgrounds are among the best in the nation.”

Concept map credit to Johnson Consulting, MIG, CDSmith, JGMA and Hanson Professional Services, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln.

The master plan began in 2020 after the Community Foundation launched The Next 10. The Next 10 is a community engagement initiative that helps plan for the future of the Greater Springfield Area. The group heavily envisioned a revamp of the State Fairgrounds due to its promising social and economic potential.

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“It is our responsibility to plan today for a strong and prosperous future for the Illinois State Fairgrounds,” IDOA Director Jerry Costello II said. “Partnering with the Community Foundation allowed us to develop thoughtful long-term options to revitalize the Fairgrounds and ensure that generations to come enjoy these 366 acres that showcase Illinois agriculture, the state’s number one industry.”

To view the complete master plan and what these ideas could look like, click here.



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